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View Full Version : I dont know about you guys...I like this trade


SoxxoS
12-03-2002, 01:41 PM
First off-Did any of you have confidence in Keith Foulke last year as a closer? He pitched very well as a set-up man, but lost it closing out games. The mental part of baseball is HUGE-Ask Mark Wholers or Chuck Knoblouch (sp.) Who is to say they throw Keith Foulke will lose it next year again when he is put into the closer role?
Second-As far as I am concerned getting rid of Mark Johnson is addition by subtraction. He was a left handed hitting catcher. Wow. If he goes out and hits .275 with 15 HR and 80 RBI's, Kenny got fleeced on this deal. Until then, he can stay out.
3rd- We are saving money. Koch is making 2.35 mill this year compared to Foulke's 6 million. In addtion to that, the savings on Frank's contract as well. Maybe, just maybe, Jerry is going to spend that extra money on some pitching. Well see. Give them a chance to see if they do anything with that extra $$$.
4th-I am not happy about Valentine leaving, but let's wait and see the prospects we got from Oakland before we weigh in on that.
5th-I would rather have a closer that throws heat, than a Finesse pitcher like Foulke. Foulke relys on fooling people, Koch will just blow them away.
The more and more I write about this trade the more I like it.

cheeses_h_rice
12-03-2002, 01:47 PM
I will say this, though: Keith improved toward the end of last season. IIRC, he mentioned something about how his mechanics as far as arm angle on his delivery got off and that's why he got slapped around so hard during that really awful stretch.

Yes, Keith is a 2-pitch pitcher. But I've heard that Koch's fastball has little movement AND that he has a tendency to be wild at times.

Btw, does anyone know if Koch is faster than Marte?

balboner
12-03-2002, 01:48 PM
This trade isnt as crappy as the ones that were made unloading players last year. At least we got a bonafide major league player in the trade. How many times last year did the Sox need a big strikeout vs a righty, but couldnt get it??? Koch would have looked nice going in to face rondell white in the yankees game, instead of rocky biddle

balboner
12-03-2002, 01:51 PM
Yes, Koch is routinely clocked in the very high 90s. On fast guns, they get him at 99-100. I think that by getting him, we can use Marte to get 3 or 4 batters down the stretch

Paulwny
12-03-2002, 01:53 PM
Not many gm's, let alone KW, have bested Beane in a trade.
My main reason for disliking this trade.

Kilroy
12-03-2002, 01:55 PM
Its not so much that its a terrible trade, its that the Sox didn't get any better making it. Maybe cash freed up will lead to that, but after all the days of the Sox doing nothing, they finally do something that amounts to nothing from a fan's perspective. To me, that blows.

PaleHoseGeorge
12-03-2002, 01:56 PM
Let me summarize your post.

The merits of this trade are positive for the Sox based on this one assumption:

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

This has been scientifically proven to be fact. Grass truly is greener on the other side of the fence. However, science also proves it is an optical illusion created by the human eye's projection angle and the resulting type of reflected light the eye captures from distant versus up-close objects.

In other words, the grass is only greener because you aren't observing it up close.

Wait till Koch is wearing pinstripes, blows a few games, goes to salary arbitration, demands a fat contract, and generally becomes our new Keith Foulke. You'll wonder (with the rest of us) why we needed to give up Foulke, plus MJ and cash, to get him.

Of course by then the grass will be greener someplace else. Who is the next opposing closer for us to fawn over?

NUCatsFan
12-03-2002, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
First off-Did any of you have confidence in Keith Foulke last year as a closer? He pitched very well as a set-up man, but lost it closing out games. The mental part of baseball is HUGE-Ask Mark Wholers or Chuck Knoblouch (sp.) Who is to say they throw Keith Foulke will lose it next year again when he is put into the closer role?
Second-As far as I am concerned getting rid of Mark Johnson is addition by subtraction. He was a left handed hitting catcher. Wow. If he goes out and hits .275 with 15 HR and 80 RBI's, Kenny got fleeced on this deal. Until then, he can stay out.
3rd- We are saving money. Koch is making 2.35 mill this year compared to Foulke's 6 million. In addtion to that, the savings on Frank's contract as well. Maybe, just maybe, Jerry is going to spend that extra money on some pitching. Well see. Give them a chance to see if they do anything with that extra $$$.
4th-I am not happy about Valentine leaving, but let's wait and see the prospects we got from Oakland before we weigh in on that.
5th-I would rather have a closer that throws heat, than a Finesse pitcher like Foulke. Foulke relys on fooling people, Koch will just blow them away.
The more and more I write about this trade the more I like it.

OK....point by point analysis.

1) Foulke had an ERA of under 1 after the ASB (actually, 0.74). Went 1-0, with 2 SV. 27-3 K-BB in 36.2 innings. Had a 0.00 ERA in September in 15 innings. Sure looked to gain that confidence back.
2) OK, who else do we have in terms of a catcher now? Olivo and Josh Paul. Olivo has played a grand total of 6 games in the majors. Josh Paul is ... well, he's Josh Paul and we all know Josh Paul. Unless Olivo has a monster rookie year, we'll suck at the C position.
3) Completely incorrect about money. Foulke is making 6mil this year. Koch is currently at about 2.4 mil (with incentives) and is arbitration eligible this year. He could end up making more money than Keith this year. The only contract we really got rid of is Mark Johnson. He made $320,000 in 2002 (according to cbs.sportsline.com). PLUS, we're giving money to Oakland. If we're saving money in this deal, then it's likely less than $1 million.
4) This is the only point I agree with. However, since they haven't named the players, that means that they're not part of the 40-man roster (I believe that's correct?). Certainly doesn't bode well for the King of Bad Trades.
5) Koch has a great fastball (95-97 MPH; this is likely the reason we acquired him, since we all know how ga-ga the brass is over those numbers). Also has a good sinker and good slider. Foulke has a slower fastball (probably 87-89 range), but one of the best changeups in the game. I still say it's a zero sum game here.

No, we didn't win this trade. Not by a longshot. Acquiring Koch also tells our young closers (Osuna and Marte) that they aren't good enough to do the job so the team had to go for some outside help. Not good for a young kid's psyche. Still a poor trade, no matter how you look at it.

No-Neck
12-03-2002, 02:05 PM
Last year Koch saved 44 in the hardest division in baseball, the AL West.

Keith Foulke saved 11 in the easiest division in baseball.

I'd like to hear from anyone who believes that Foulke will match the numbers Koch put up last year as a closer for the A's.

I'll be shocked if Foulke can get 44 saves as closer for the A's in 2003, having to play 57 games against Seattle and Anaheim. If he does, great, but I really doubt it.

Keith lost it in 2001 and he didn't even come even close to that form since. This "coming on at the end of the year" against KC and Detroit in September doesn't mean squat (this applies to Frank Thomas also).

Blowing a big lead against NY at the end of May at home in front of 40,000 as Foulke did last year does mean something.

Hopefully he'll have a great rest of his career somewhere else, because he is a class act, and I always pulled for the guy, even when he was struggling.

But a lot of posters are saying the Sox got fleeced, but I don't agree. Koch is a bona fide closer. 44 saves in the AL West does mean something.

I agree with the point that we still need a good starter or two or our 2003 season will be as ugly as the last one.

ma-gaga
12-03-2002, 02:13 PM
As an added bonus, Billy Koch doesn't like the Twins very much. AJ Pierzynski in particular... :D:

I don't like the trade for the WSox. But if J.Manual was going to NEVER use Foulke again, you made something out of nothing.

Ask some Oakland fans if they are happy to get rid of Koch?

That's how you'll be able to tell if you got a good deal. Right now, I'm leaning towards this deal favoring Oakland.

THE_HOOTER
12-03-2002, 02:20 PM
Before you say " Foulke lost it in 2001", I suggest you look at the stats.

Koch will come here and not be as effective---at least that's what the statistics say.

SoxxoS
12-03-2002, 02:24 PM
I dont care about Foulke's second half numbers last year. The set-up roll is a whole different thing than the closer role. Do NOT overlook the mental aspect of this trade. The last time Foulke was saving games, he was getting rocked. You can't tell me that won't play into his phyche (sp.).

We have zero depth at the catcher position right now. But give KW a chance to see if he will acquire someone. Olivo is going to be our starter, and I think there is about an 90% chance he is better than Mark Johnson. Josh Paul is a back-up. Lets wait until the season is half way through to weigh the catcher position. We sucked at the catcher position last year with Mark Johnson. Ill take the Olivo-Johnson swap anyday.

A good point by no-neck... Koch saved games against Seattle, Anaheim and the stacked Texas lineup. A little harder than the juggernaut of the Tigers, Royals, Twins and Tribe.

BTW, there had to be a reason why KW made this trade...I would love to hear what he says about it. The only thing I dont like is that the trade was with Billy Beane.

hold2dibber
12-03-2002, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by NUCatsFan
OK....point by point analysis.

1) Foulke had an ERA of under 1 after the ASB (actually, 0.74). Went 1-0, with 2 SV. 27-3 K-BB in 36.2 innings. Had a 0.00 ERA in September in 15 innings. Sure looked to gain that confidence back.
2) OK, who else do we have in terms of a catcher now? Olivo and Josh Paul. Olivo has played a grand total of 6 games in the majors. Josh Paul is ... well, he's Josh Paul and we all know Josh Paul. Unless Olivo has a monster rookie year, we'll suck at the C position.
3) Completely incorrect about money. Foulke is making 6mil this year. Koch is currently at about 2.4 mil (with incentives) and is arbitration eligible this year. He could end up making more money than Keith this year. The only contract we really got rid of is Mark Johnson. He made $320,000 in 2002 (according to cbs.sportsline.com). PLUS, we're giving money to Oakland. If we're saving money in this deal, then it's likely less than $1 million.
4) This is the only point I agree with. However, since they haven't named the players, that means that they're not part of the 40-man roster (I believe that's correct?). Certainly doesn't bode well for the King of Bad Trades.
5) Koch has a great fastball (95-97 MPH; this is likely the reason we acquired him, since we all know how ga-ga the brass is over those numbers). Also has a good sinker and good slider. Foulke has a slower fastball (probably 87-89 range), but one of the best changeups in the game. I still say it's a zero sum game here.

No, we didn't win this trade. Not by a longshot. Acquiring Koch also tells our young closers (Osuna and Marte) that they aren't good enough to do the job so the team had to go for some outside help. Not good for a young kid's psyche. Still a poor trade, no matter how you look at it.

I agree with virtually everything you said except: (1) that Osuna is young or a closer or (2) that we should be concerned about acquiring Koch because it might somehow hurt Marte or Osuna's feelings. First of all, who cares - this is the major leagues and you have to be ready to compete against the best. Second, isn't the point to make the team as good as possible? Would you be against acquiring a no. 2 starting pitcher because it would send the message to Garland and Wright that they aren't good enough to do the job so the team had to go for some outside help? Give me a break.

Finally, I note that despite the fact that I disagree with virtually everything SoxxoS said in his analysis of this trade, I do think there is an upside that no one else has pointed out; Foulke was only under contract through '03 whereas Koch will be Sox property through at least '04. If you consider Foulke for Koch to be pretty much straight up, and you reserve judgement on whether the two prospects we receive are fair value for Valentine, you have essentially traded Mark Johnson for the security of having a top notch closer on the team in '04, which you wouldn't have had without this trade.

But I think Foulke is better than Koch, so I still don't think it was a good trade.

SoxxoS
12-03-2002, 02:32 PM
And dont forget-

Foulke was throwing 90, not the usual 94 mph last year. Whether or not that was a Nardi-ism is yet to be seen.

moochpuppy
12-03-2002, 02:35 PM
Hopefully at least one of the minor leaguers will be one of these three players:

M. Wood (AA) P/right, 22 years old
J. Harden (AA) P/right, 21 years old
J. Rheinecker (AA) P/left, 23 years old

No-Neck
12-03-2002, 02:35 PM
The main stat for any closer is the number of saves, Koch has 44 last season and 144 in the last 4 seasons in the AL East and West, much tougher divisions than the central. If you have better stats to offset this for Foulke let's see them.

In 2001 against the Cubs at Comiskey, Foulke blew a lead, Samme tied it up the 9th. He was never the same after that, and blew a 5 run (?) lead at the Metrodome at the end of the season. This guy folds in front of big crowds when the season still means something.

I lost a lot of confidence in Foulke as a bona fide closer, and 11 saves last year proves my point.


11 saves in the AL Central is a pretty pathetic stat for a closer .

I have nothing againnst the guy, but I'll be shocked if he come even come close to putting up 44 saves next year for Oakland.

Dadawg_77
12-03-2002, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
The main stat for any closer is the number of saves, Koch has 44 last season and 144 in the last 4 seasons in the AL East and West, much tougher divisions than the central. If you have better stats to offset this for Foulke let's see them.

Save are overblown stat.

ERA lgERA ERA+ Whip OPS Allowed
Keith Foulke
Career 3.36 4.68 139 na .625
2002 2.90 4.60 159 1.00 .590
Billy Koch
Career 3.48 4.81 138 na .675
2002 3.27 4.64 139 1.27 .617

No-Neck
12-03-2002, 03:02 PM
A save for a closer is more important than ERA, ERA is not a serious stat for a closer.

Dadawg_77
12-03-2002, 03:05 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
A save for a closer is more important than ERA, ERA is not a serious stat for a closer.

Keith has a better OPS allowed, OBP allowed and Whip.

AnthonyGiacalone
12-03-2002, 03:11 PM
Let's see. The Sox give up their best catcher, their best pitcher, a good
minor league relief pitcher AND cash to get a guy who isn't as good as
Foulke and two unnamed minor leaguers.

My guess is that Johnson turns into Mickey Tettleton or Darren Daulton, now
that he is with an organization that understands his strengths. Valentine
will soon join his former Sox pitchers Bradford and Foulke to create the
best bullpen in the league and Foulke will probably become the closer since
they are already four deep in their rotation.

The Sox gave up all this to get a guy that doesn't address any of their
needs. Actually, Koch is a downgrade at a position that the Sox already had
filled, closer.

Quick comparison:

Player ERA+

Foulke
1998 110
1999 215
2000 174
2001 198
2002 159

Koch
1999 145
2000 189
2001 99
2002 145

Umm. . . . Foulke's "bad" 2002 was better than Koch's "great" 2002, by a
lot. Foulke's best year is way better than Koch's. His worst year is way
better than's Koch's worst. Foulke has a better ERA, better, H/IP ratio,
better BB/IP ration, A BETTER K/IP RATIO!! He's converted more saves.

In Koch's favor . . . give me a minute . . . . he's two years younger than
Foulke. Um . . . . he's . . . he gives up fewer homers than Foulke. Wait,
Koch throws 99 MPH. Well, there you go. That's it. He MUST be a better
pitcher then.

So, Sox downgrade at the closer position, lose ground at the catcher
position, deal some of their minor league bullpen depth to get two minor
leaguers.

Someone needs to do an intervention. Billy Beane should never be allowed to
talk to Kenny Williams ever again.

hold2dibber
12-03-2002, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
A save for a closer is more important than ERA, ERA is not a serious stat for a closer.

A save, standing alone, can be a very misleading stat for a closer as well. First, the A's won 20 more games than the Sox last year, which means the A's closer is likely to have a lot more save opportunities than the Sox' closer. Plus, the Tinkerer foolishly removed Foulke from the closer role. If he had left him there, Foulke would have saved about 30 games last year.

And your argument about Foulke blowing saves in big games is nonsense. Koch imploded in game 5 of the ALCS. That is a bigger game than Foulke ever blew. Does that mean Koch can't pitch in a big game? Of course not. The fact is, Foulke hit a rough spot last year, but after he corrected a mechanical flaw, he was nearly unhittable. Koch is a good closer, but at his best, he's never been as good as Foulke at his best.

Dadawg_77
12-03-2002, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by AnthonyGiacalone


Umm. . . . Foulke's "bad" 2002 was better than Koch's "great" 2002, by a
lot. Foulke's best year is way better than Koch's. His worst year is way
better than's Koch's worst. Foulke has a better ERA, better, H/IP ratio,
better BB/IP ration, A BETTER K/IP RATIO!! He's converted more saves.



Kieth worst season was 1997, if you consider it. Which was worse the Koch's 99.

No-Neck
12-03-2002, 03:17 PM
ERA, OPS and WHIP


These are overblown stats, not the number of saves when discussing the stats for a closer.

They certainly don't overcome the discrepancy of saves over the past couple years.

Foulke had one good year with 42 saves, so 44 has to be pretty good under any argument.

And Koch can also come in the next inning, something Foulke was unable to do without getting shelled.

My confidence in Koch as our closer, assuming he is healthy, is way above a healthy Keith Foulke. I realize that Foulke was a fan favorite, but he was not a top-notch or even above average closer.

Dadawg_77
12-03-2002, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
ERA, OPS and WHIP


These are overblown stats, not the number of saves when discussing the stats for a closer.

And Koch can also come in the next inning, something Foulke was unable to do without getting shelled.


ERA, OPS, WHIP show how good a pitcher is where Saves and wins are detrimine by other factors then just the pitcher. I haven't had the time to check Ks per 9 or those ratios yet, but Koch likly is better then Foulke in those areas.

Also like Foulke, if Koch pitches more then 30 pitches he get hammered with both of them having an OPS over 1.0.

ScottyTheSoxFan
12-03-2002, 03:25 PM
i still would have liked to see what foulke would do as a starter.

well i guess kw really foulked this trade up.

hold2dibber
12-03-2002, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
My confidence in Koch as our closer, assuming he is healthy, is way above a healthy Keith Foulke. I realize that Foulke was a fan favorite, but he was not a top-notch or even above average closer.

You lost all credibility with that last sentence. I forgot who did the research, but before the '02 season, someone (baseball prospectus) did an in depth statistical analysis of closers and concluded that over the previous 2 seasons (I believe), Foulke was the best in the major leagues. To suggest that he was not even an "above average closer" is an absolute joke and cannot be supported. If you like the trade because you think Koch will be better than Foulke in the future, fine, but you insult our intelligence and destroy your own credibility with assinine statements like that.

AnthonyGiacalone
12-03-2002, 03:29 PM
Foulke was rated the best closer in baseball by MLB coming into this season.

He doesn't have as many saves because he wasn't the sole closer until 2001

No-Neck
12-03-2002, 03:44 PM
Foulke stunk as a closer in the last half of 2001 and the entire 2002. Period. I spoke with a couple older lifelong Sox fans a few minutes ago, and they are all gung-ho about this trade.

If you don't agree with this doesn't make it wrong. I don't feel like Keith Foulke is a bona-fide top-notch career closer in the majors (with the exception of that one year, when the whole team was on a role. He then earned the title "Foulke-omatic"). It remains to be seen if he is ever able to return to that form. I hope he does. But it wouldn't shock me if he didn't

People have different opinions, but 11 saves last year for a closer the AL Central is horse manure, no matter how many angles or stats you want to look at it.


I sit with season ticket holders for about 25 games a season, and last season everyone had lost a lot of confidence in Foulke as the closer. Nobody expressed a lot of confidence in Foulke going into this year.

I'm surprised we were able to trade him straight up for a guy like Koch, I thought we would have had to unload him before the July deadline for a beer vendor (see Durham, Alomar et al).

He was great for a good portion of 2000, after taking the closer role from Howry in May of that year. He had one great year as a closer and that's it. In the middle of 2001, he started a decline and has yet to recover from it.

For the posters who are stating stats prior to 2000, Foulke wasn't a closer then, so the stress level wasn't there. You can't compare the two.

I like the trade.

MaggPipes
12-03-2002, 03:45 PM
Here is my problem with this trade, we are getting Billy Koch is supposed to be good......my question is if he is so go why has he been traded twice in two years? And the fact that is fastball is one of the straight and narrow, a good fastball hitter can tee-off on him............the thing w/ Foulke was that his change-up was FLAT-OUT ASWESOME, but every year he lost it for a month or so, and what if next year he loses it in October? I am not sold either way on this trade so far, but I leaning towards Beane smoking us AGAIN:(

kermittheefrog
12-03-2002, 03:48 PM
After seeing this trade and reading this thread a few things are clear.

1) No-Neck doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

2) We don't know how good or bad this trade is yet because we don't know what minor league players are involved.

The rest of what I have to say about this trade will come in column form.

I'm hoping that Baseball America or someone will have a report on who the minor leaguers will be.

Dadawg_77
12-03-2002, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog

2) We don't know how good or bad this trade is yet because we don't know what minor league players are involved.

I'm hoping that Baseball America or someone will have a report on who the minor leaguers will be.

This is KW vs Beane so I will assume the worst and hope for the best.

ode to veeck
12-03-2002, 03:55 PM
I realize that Foulke was a fan favorite, but he was not a top-notch or even above average closer.

Applied to '00 and most of '01 this is not a true statement (and data & arguments to say Foulke was best in MLB in this period to the contrary)

Applied to '02, this is an accurate statement.

kermittheefrog
12-03-2002, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Dadawg_77
This is KW vs Beane so I will assume the worst and hope for the best.

I agree. I'm REALLY upset about this trade. I am assuming things will go horribly but I can't really break down exactly how bad the deal is until I know the minor leaguers involved.

Looking at the A's minor league system their really aren't any A prospects. And I define A prospects as guys among the top 5-10 prospects in baseball. Their is a B+ guy or two which is the next 30-40 guys after the top 10. The problem is the A's best prospects are pitchers and as we've all seen with the White Sox of recent years, there's no such thing as a pitching prospect.

Here are some names to hope for: John-Ford Griffin, Rich Harden, Freddie Bynum, Jason Arnold.

No-Neck
12-03-2002, 04:26 PM
A question for Kermit and all others:

Were you confident going into this season with Foulke as our Closer?

I wasn't. I don't feel he's a career closer.
I am always open to all other viewpoints.

NUCatsFan
12-03-2002, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
A question for Kermit and all others:

Were you confident going into this season with Foulke as our Closer?

I wasn't. I don't feel he's a career closer.
I am always open to all other viewpoints.

OK, let me turn this around on you.

Are you more confident with Koch as the closer, and Josh Paul as one of our top 2 catchers? I most certainly am not. Koch just seems too prone to self-destruct.

kermittheefrog
12-03-2002, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
A question for Kermit and all others:

Were you confident going into this season with Foulke as our Closer?

I wasn't. I don't feel he's a career closer.
I am always open to all other viewpoints.

I was supremely confident. I feel like he's one of the 2 or 3 best relievers in baseball and that Manuel was stupid for losing confidence in him.

hold2dibber
12-03-2002, 04:31 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck
A question for Kermit and all others:

Were you confident going into this season with Foulke as our Closer?

I wasn't. I don't feel he's a career closer.
I am always open to all other viewpoints.

Yes. Every year he losses his release point on his change up for a little while and gets knocked around. 2001 was no different, but when he got it straightened out, he was absolutely lights out again. Koch is NEVER lights out in the way that Foulke is when he is on. If Foulke made you jittery, wait 'til you get a load of Koch's 28 pitch, two base runner 9th innings. We'll all have ulcers by the end of April.

And, by the way, I don't think the question is just whether you feel comfortable with Foulke as closer, the question is whether you feel comfortable with Koch as closer and with an Olivo/Paul platoon at catcher, and with giving up one of our better pitching prospects as well.

HawkDJ
12-03-2002, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
[B]First off-Did any of you have confidence in Keith Foulke last year as a closer? He pitched very well as a set-up man, but lost it closing out games. The mental part of baseball is HUGE-Ask Mark Wholers or Chuck Knoblouch (sp.) Who is to say they throw Keith Foulke will lose it next year again when he is put into the closer role?

True. Koch is more a true closer than Foulke. Hopefully a better one too.

Second-As far as I am concerned getting rid of Mark Johnson is addition by subtraction. He was a left handed hitting catcher. Wow. If he goes out and hits .275 with 15 HR and 80 RBI's, Kenny got fleeced on this deal. Until then, he can stay out.

It's Miguel Olivo time! WOOO!

3rd- We are saving money. Koch is making 2.35 mill this year compared to Foulke's 6 million. In addtion to that, the savings on Frank's contract as well. Maybe, just maybe, Jerry is going to spend that extra money on some pitching. Well see. Give them a chance to see if they do anything with that extra $$$.

Nope. We are sending cash to the A's so the money balances out for both teams.

4th-I am not happy about Valentine leaving, but let's wait and see the prospects we got from Oakland before we weigh in on that.

With Almonte and Ring in the minors too I think it was clear one our minor league closers would go.

THE_HOOTER
12-03-2002, 04:35 PM
What were Foulke's stats overall in 2001? Weren' they among the top in baseball?

2000 his stats were among the top in baseball???????/

Last year, he struggled early on, and finished with an era under 3????????????/

His k/walk ratio is awesome, his career era lower.

I was extremely confident in Foulke this coming year. If you have a pitcher give you 70 innings, and have an era under 3, I say he is among the best in baseball regardless if he's in the closer's role or not.

If Koch's stats are not as good as Foulke's, what makes you think this trade is fair value wise??????/ Cash, M. Johnson, and Valentine?

You prolly loved the Ritchie deal too.

AnthonyGiacalone
12-03-2002, 04:39 PM
Don't forget that Koch posted a 2-5 4.80 year in 2001. Toronto was so confident in him that that traded him for one grade B+ prospect (Eric Hinske) and gave the job to someone who had never really closed in the major leagues.

The knock on Koch has been that his fastball, while 99 MPH, is way too straight and that he can't control any of his breaking pitches (mostly his slider). Koch could become Robb Nenn . . . or Stan Belinda. And none of us, have any real idea which it will be.

THE_HOOTER
12-03-2002, 04:41 PM
Didn't Konerko Launch one off of Koch early in the year?

AnthonyGiacalone
12-03-2002, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by HawkDJ2k2

With Almonte and Ring in the minors too I think it was clear one our minor league closers would go.

Why? Why wouldn't we keep them and use them to fill Foulke's spot if/when he went to free agency/the rotation?

Why are we certain that Koch will be better than they?

Couldn't we have sent all these guys to Florida for Brad Penny or something along those lines?

Zednem700
12-03-2002, 04:55 PM
Over the last few years Keith Foulke has been arguably the best reliever in baseball. He struggled a bit last year, but he still wound up having a better year than Billy Koch. Koch isn't worhless, far from it, but it is extremely unlikely that he will be as good as Foulke next year.

Anyone who uses saves as a measure of a reliever's quality has not paid much attention to the game. Everything else being equal holding onto a three run lead with no one on in the ninth inning impresses me less than holding onto a one run lead in the seventh wth two men on. Are there occasional pitchers who let the word "closer" get to them and fail in the ninth inning? Maybe, but they appear to be few and far between. A pitcher's job, whether as a reliever or a starter is to keep the other team from scoring runs. Foulke does this better than Koch. Foulke has done this better than pretty much every reliever in the game. He basically had a bad week last season, and since a bad week for a closer looks worse than a bad week for any other position, he lost his job. It was a short sighted foolish move. Foulke should have been THE guy to come in during the tough situations.

Oh one other thing, if the A's convert Foulke into a starter and he pulls a Lowe, I'm going to firebomb Kenny Williams's house.

kermittheefrog
12-03-2002, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Zednem700
Oh one other thing, if the A's convert Foulke into a starter and he pulls a Lowe, I'm going to firebomb Kenny Williams's house.

Let me in on the plans, I'll be glad to help.

RichH55
12-03-2002, 05:11 PM
I'm sticking with Kermit on this...Beane vs. KW doesnt bode well, but we still have to see who the minor leaguers are first and foremost before judging the deal

Clarkdog
12-03-2002, 05:23 PM
I know that stats don't lie. Foulke has better career numbers over Koch. But you cannot deny the comparison of 11 saves in the AL Central vs 44 in the AL West in 2002.

I think KW could no longer stomach the idea of putting Foulke in big time pressure situations to convert saves. When Foulke blows a save - HE BLOWS A SAVE. And it always seems to be in a big - season momentum shifting game. Those are the one the need to convert every time. I think KW figures why pay more money for the aggrivation of that? He may believe Koch has the balls, and Foulke doesn't.

Also when you listen to KW another motivator in this deal was Foulke's upcoming free agency. He mentioned that while Koch is arbitration eligable after 2003 he is planning in locking him in for 03 - 05.

I won't say the Sox got fleeced, but I think that KW should stop taking Billy Beane's calls.

guillen4life13
12-03-2002, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by Clarkdog
I know that stats don't lie. Foulke has better career numbers over Koch. But you cannot deny the comparison of 11 saves in the AL Central vs 44 in the AL West in 2002.

I think KW could no longer stomach the idea of putting Foulke in big time pressure situations to convert saves. When Foulke blows a save - HE BLOWS A SAVE. And it always seems to be in a big - season momentum shifting game. Those are the one the need to convert every time. I think KW figures why pay more money for the aggrivation of that? He may believe Koch has the balls, and Foulke doesn't.

Also when you listen to KW another motivator in this deal was Foulke's upcoming free agency. He mentioned that while Koch is arbitration eligable after 2003 he is planning in locking him in for 03 - 05.

I won't say the Sox got fleeced, but I think that KW should stop taking Billy Beane's calls.

11 saves in how many opportunities? 44 saves in how many opportunities? Had Foulke had the chance to have the amount of save opportunities that Koch had, he would have put up similar or better numbers, with an under 3 era (I'm making an educated guess that he would do that).

Foulke is an extremely streaky pitcher, imo, and he goes on streaks that are quite long. He can go 15 saves without blowing it (I think he's done better also). All of the points you make about "11 saves in the central vs 44 in the west" are without foundations because you are omitting information that somewhat deadens your point.

Koch is a Gascan... easily lit on fire. Fastball doesn't move, and on top of that, the sox lose Joe Valentine-one of their higher level prospects that could have had an impact in the next couple years.

But as some other people are, I'm not gonna say good or bad until we know who the minor leaguers are.

gosox41
12-03-2002, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by SoxxoS
First off-Did any of you have confidence in Keith Foulke last year as a closer? He pitched very well as a set-up man, but lost it closing out games. The mental part of baseball is HUGE-Ask Mark Wholers or Chuck Knoblouch (sp.) Who is to say they throw Keith Foulke will lose it next year again when he is put into the closer role?
Second-As far as I am concerned getting rid of Mark Johnson is addition by subtraction. He was a left handed hitting catcher. Wow. If he goes out and hits .275 with 15 HR and 80 RBI's, Kenny got fleeced on this deal. Until then, he can stay out.
3rd- We are saving money. Koch is making 2.35 mill this year compared to Foulke's 6 million. In addtion to that, the savings on Frank's contract as well. Maybe, just maybe, Jerry is going to spend that extra money on some pitching. Well see. Give them a chance to see if they do anything with that extra $$$.
4th-I am not happy about Valentine leaving, but let's wait and see the prospects we got from Oakland before we weigh in on that.
5th-I would rather have a closer that throws heat, than a Finesse pitcher like Foulke. Foulke relys on fooling people, Koch will just blow them away.
The more and more I write about this trade the more I like it.


Statistically Foulke still had a better year then Koch did last season. Check out the WHIP, K's per 9 innings and not just the saves and ERA.

Also, I heard the Sox are picking up the difference in salary for the 2002 season. So they're really not saving money, but at least JR is supproting a legit World Series team

Bob

HITMEN OF 77
12-03-2002, 07:00 PM
I think this was a good trade, but a surprising one also. Maybe the Sox will get a good #2 pitcher and a catcher now? Who know's? Koch is good, hopefully he will be as good this summer!

Jerry_Manuel
12-03-2002, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by Zednem700
Oh one other thing, if the A's convert Foulke into a starter and he pulls a Lowe, I'm going to firebomb Kenny Williams's house.

Well, if Foulke had a been a starter her in 2003, and done a good job, he would've walked at the end of the year.

If he is the closer and does well, he's gone. If he's the closer and does poorly, why re-sign him?

ode to veeck
12-03-2002, 07:14 PM
11 saves in how many opportunities? 44 saves in how many opportunities? Had Foulke had the chance to have the amount of save opportunities that Koch had, he would have put up similar or better numbers, with an under 3 era (I'm making an educated guess that he would do that).

If Foulke had been left in as the closer in early summer when he lost that role, he might have had 20 blown saves by August, period.

You can argue about JM's overall intelligence or lack of it, but Foulke was not up to the closer's role (not even close) when he got benched and JM did make the right move to give him the hook ... unfortunately, his tinkering went way beyond that, but that's a different (and very familiar story)

Ol Aches & Pains
12-03-2002, 07:39 PM
I can't believe all the negative reaction here. Koch saved 44 games last year in the division with Seattle and Anaheim, not the one with Detroit and Kansas City.

And are we really going to miss Mark Johnson? I don't think so. I'm surprised Oakland wanted him. He's a bum, he can't hit, he can't throw anybody out, and if he can handle a pitching staff, it wasn't evident to me. I know Olivo only played in 6 games, but he was instantly an improvement over MJ, offensively and defensively. Unless Koch's arm is about to fall off and KW doesn't know it, I think he did pretty good this time.

PaleHoseGeorge
12-03-2002, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by Ol Aches & Pains
I can't believe all the negative reaction here. Koch saved 44 games last year in the division with Seattle and Anaheim, not the one with Detroit and Kansas City.

And are we really going to miss Mark Johnson? I don't think so. I'm surprised Oakland wanted him. He's a bum, he can't hit, he can't throw anybody out, and if he can handle a pitching staff, it wasn't evident to me. I know Olivo only played in 6 games, but he was instantly an improvement over MJ, offensively and defensively. Unless Koch's arm is about to fall off and KW doesn't know it, I think he did pretty good this time.

I'll make the same point discussed in a separate thread a couple weeks ago.

The trick to building a champion is always to upgrade the talent on your team. Does this trade do this for the Sox? Not even close.

Foulke was at least as good as Koch, and nothing short of Manuel benching him from the closer's role could fool anyone into thinking he wasn't. Talent-wise, this is a wash (at best) for the Sox: Koch for Foulke.

Mark Johnson is the BEST catcher we've had since Charles Johnson packed and left after 2000. I've heard nothing but excuses for why the catching position has to be so weak for the Sox ("there aren't any good catchers available", "the Sox can't afford to pay a good catcher", blah, blah...).

Fair enough. So tell me how losing Mark Johnson in favor of any platoon that includes Josh Paul can ever be deemed an upgrade? Josh Paul is worthless! Miguel Olivo might contribute late next year--if we're lucky--but not a moment sooner.

Finally, KW trades cash to sweeten the deal for Beane "to make the costs come out even." Why the hell doesn't Beane pay his own frickin' bills? Isn't he the one that wants the talent on his team?

I have no idea who these two minor leaguers are, but I have little hope either of them can possibly make up the difference for losing two members of our 25-man squad. KW is doing the negotiations for our side. Pathetic.

Frankly, I think it is a pipedream to suggest Koch, Olivo, and the minor leaguers make us a better team.

RichH55
12-03-2002, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
I'll make the same point discussed in a separate thread a couple weeks ago.

The trick to building a champion is always to upgrade the talent on your team. Does this trade do this for the Sox? Not even close.

Foulke was at least as good as Koch, and nothing short of Manuel benching him from the closer's role could fool anyone into thinking he wasn't. Talent-wise, this is a wash (at best) for the Sox: Koch for Foulke.

Mark Johnson is the BEST catcher we've had since Charles Johnson packed and left after 2000. I've heard nothing but excuses for why the catching position has to be so weak for the Sox ("there aren't any good catchers available", "the Sox can't afford to pay a good catcher", blah, blah...).

Fair enough. So tell me how losing Mark Johnson in favor of any platoon that includes Josh Paul can ever be deemed an upgrade? Josh Paul is worthless! Miguel Olivo might contribute late next year--if we're lucky--but not a moment sooner.

Finally, KW trades cash to sweeten the deal for Beane "to make the costs come out even." Why the hell doesn't Beane pay his own frickin' bills? Isn't he the one that wants the talent on his team?

I have no idea who these two minor leaguers are, but I have little hope either of them can possibly make up the difference for losing two members of our 25-man squad. KW is doing the negotiations for our side. Pathetic.

Frankly, I think it is a pipedream to suggest Koch, Olivo, and the minor leaguers make us a better team.


It also depends on how we were going to use Foulke....if he wasn't going to close, or was going to be on the trading block all year then that doesnt exactly scream stablity to me.....I think Koch(hoping he doesnt get hurt) should make this a pretty good bullpen and we should have him longer than Foulke...Hopefully this is a sign we are willing to be aggressive to make ourselves a contender

Lip Man 1
12-03-2002, 10:22 PM
RichH55 says:

...Hopefully this is a sign we are willing to be aggressive to make ourselves a contender

I'll believe that when I see the Sox go out and acquire two quality starting pitchers (hopefully without trading half the team to get them! since we won't sign free agents)


Lip

WhiteSoxWinner
12-03-2002, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by NUCatsFan

No, we didn't win this trade. Not by a longshot. Acquiring Koch also tells our young closers (Osuna and Marte) that they aren't good enough to do the job so the team had to go for some outside help. Not good for a young kid's psyche.

Isn't this the same logic that kept Joe Crede in the minors for most of last season? Didn't Kenny Williams worry about the impact of bringing in another guy on the chemistry of Jose Valentine, Royce Clayton and Jeff Liefer?

RichH55
12-03-2002, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
RichH55 says:

...Hopefully this is a sign we are willing to be aggressive to make ourselves a contender

I'll believe that when I see the Sox go out and acquire two quality starting pitchers (hopefully without trading half the team to get them! since we won't sign free agents)


Lip

But you think we are going to get Hundley, Lip? He costs alot, no? That would be spending money....it wouldnt be a wise expenditure but would that blowing of JR's money make you sleep better at night? I still think either Colon, Moyer, or Vasquez is a posibility and until they are all gone I will not cede the point

Dan H
12-04-2002, 01:03 PM
This trade alone will not make the Sox a better team, but I like it. There are drawbacks to everything like losing a catcher. However, no good trade comes without sacrifice.

I am no Foulke fan. For some reason the organization didn't like him and the feeling was probably mutual. What has concerned me about Foulke was that his past still bothered him. The memories of the Yankee fiasco and even the Edgar Martinez playoff homer seemed to still haunt Foulke. A change of scene could help him.

As far as Koch and his straight fastball: You only want him for one inning. I remember Rich Gossage and some of his starts. The first three innings he would blow the opposition away. By the fifth he was gone. A starter he wasn't, because major leaguers were able to catch on. But what a reliever he was.

Two things concern me: 1. Do the Sox really have an overall plan to truly improve this club? Because of you can't get to the closer, he is a luxary you cannot afford. 2. Ron Schueler was quoted in the media as saying he looked around the Sox locker room last September and saw defeat on everyone's faces. Do these players really have the confidence to become winners? Or will they have a Foulke-like attitude?

Lip Man 1
12-04-2002, 01:31 PM
Rich:

The Hundley comment was made in jest. hsc got where I was coming from in her reply so I didn't expound on it.

Lip

PaleHoseGeorge
12-04-2002, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
It also depends on how we were going to use Foulke....if he wasn't going to close, or was going to be on the trading block all year then that doesnt exactly scream stablity to me.....I think Koch(hoping he doesnt get hurt) should make this a pretty good bullpen and we should have him longer than Foulke...Hopefully this is a sign we are willing to be aggressive to make ourselves a contender

The fact Manuel gave up on Foulke after 3 blown saves is quite an indictment of his fitness to manage.

The fact Williams would trade Foulke at the precise moment his value has bottomed out is quite an indictment of his fitness to be general manager.

The fact Reinsdorf has led us in circles for 22 seasons, hiring decisionmakers like the aforementioned incompetents, is quite an indictment of his fitness to own the team.

But I honestly agree with you. With these 3 clowns running the circus, Keith Foulke was practically worthless to the Sox.

I feel sad for Sox Fans.

doublem23
12-04-2002, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by No-Neck

I lost a lot of confidence in Foulke as a bona fide closer, and 11 saves last year proves my point.

It's hard to save many more games when you were only put in 14 save situations. How he didn't save 44, we'll never know!

RichH55
12-05-2002, 02:12 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
The fact Manuel gave up on Foulke after 3 blown saves is quite an indictment of his fitness to manage.

The fact Williams would trade Foulke at the precise moment his value has bottomed out is quite an indictment of his fitness to be general manager.

The fact Reinsdorf has led us in circles for 22 seasons, hiring decisionmakers like the aforementioned incompetents, is quite an indictment of his fitness to own the team.

But I honestly agree with you. With these 3 clowns running the circus, Keith Foulke was practically worthless to the Sox.

I feel sad for Sox Fans.

I dont know if Foulke's value was quite at its bottom.....if he was still a middle reliever closer to the trade deadline and making his money then his value would be less(IMO)...right now he still isnt too far away from "closer" status that you can sell that idea...also his strong second half numbers are going to get GMs who think he is the Foulke of the last few years, not a guy who lost his job....With Foulke if he was at the top of his value there would be no reason to trade him, so this is pretty close to best case scenario on Foulke at the point...sad but true

Reinsdorfsucks
12-05-2002, 02:53 PM
This trade may not have been a outright loser, but it sure wasnt a winner. Even with Foulks bad first have, he still finished with a better ERA then Koch. Secondly, someone was saying they loved getting Koch because he throws so much harder. Maybe, but he also had Tommy John surgery, which makes me question how long he can continue tossing that hard. Also, how long does Maddox have to be in the league before people stop relying on the radar gun as the ultimate source of a pitchers value. Basically, this trade is six of one and a half dozen of the other. It does not get the sox one bit closer to winning anything!!!! Koch is eligible for arbitration next year, which means we arent saving much money either. Does anyone really think that any money that is saved will go to a new starting pitcher? If you do I have an ivy covered ballpark I want to sell you.

Daver
12-05-2002, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by Reinsdorfsucks
This trade may not have been a outright loser, but it sure wasnt a winner. Even with Foulks bad first have, he still finished with a better ERA then Koch. Secondly, someone was saying they loved getting Koch because he throws so much harder. Maybe, but he also had Tommy John surgery, which makes me question how long he can continue tossing that hard. Also, how long does Maddox have to be in the league before people stop relying on the radar gun as the ultimate source of a pitchers value. Basically, this trade is six of one and a half dozen of the other. It does not get the sox one bit closer to winning anything!!!! Koch is eligible for arbitration next year, which means we arent saving much money either. Does anyone really think that any money that is saved will go to a new starting pitcher? If you do I have an ivy covered ballpark I want to sell you.

Hey welcome aboard! :redneck

T Dog
12-07-2002, 11:35 PM
I may be late with this observation, but I think the Sox will be better off with Koch closing.

Throw out Koch's worst three 2002 regular season outings, and his ERA is 2.06. Throw out Foulke's, and his is 1.55.

But Foulke's worst three outings were pretty bad. On April 3, he gave up 4 runs in .2 innings, blowing a 3-run lead in a 7-6 loss in Seattle. On May 29, he gave up 5 Yankee runs, in a hurry, after retiring the first four hitters he faced, blowing a 3-1 lead. On July 4 against Detroit, he came in leading 5-2 and gave up 3 runs without retiring a man. He didn't get the blown save because he was out of the game by the time the Tigers scored their 5th and 6th runs in their 6-5 win. (Wunch got both a hold and the loss. Osuna got the blown save.)

Koch had two bad outings against Toronto in May, giving up 5 runs in 1 inning on May 12 and 4 runs without retiring a man a week later. In both games, he came in with the A's already losing. On July 27, he gave up 4 10th-inning runs after pitching a scoreless 9th in Texas. Two infield singles and a hit batsman were followed by an A-Rod grand slam to break the tie.

Foulke had so few save opportunities in 2002, in part, because the Sox had few save situations early in the season. Still, from getting the opening-day save with a bases-loaded flyout in Seattle, he never inspired confidence as a closer. Considering that Koch couldn't close out the ALDS for the A's, fans in Oakland probably feel that way about him.

In some ways, Foulke had a statistically good season in relief, despite the fact that scouts were saying that hitters were figuring him out. But looking at a game-by-game breakdown of the 2002 regular season, Koch looks like the better closer. I think he strikes more fear in opposing hitters, and I think the trade will make the Sox a better team.

kermittheefrog
12-08-2002, 01:50 AM
Originally posted by T Dog
I may be late with this observation, but I think the Sox will be better off with Koch closing.

Throw out Koch's worst three 2002 regular season outings, and his ERA is 2.06. Throw out Foulke's, and his is 1.55.

But Foulke's worst three outings were pretty bad. On April 3, he gave up 4 runs in .2 innings, blowing a 3-run lead in a 7-6 loss in Seattle. On May 29, he gave up 5 Yankee runs, in a hurry, after retiring the first four hitters he faced, blowing a 3-1 lead. On July 4 against Detroit, he came in leading 5-2 and gave up 3 runs without retiring a man. He didn't get the blown save because he was out of the game by the time the Tigers scored their 5th and 6th runs in their 6-5 win. (Wunch got both a hold and the loss. Osuna got the blown save.)

Koch had two bad outings against Toronto in May, giving up 5 runs in 1 inning on May 12 and 4 runs without retiring a man a week later. In both games, he came in with the A's already losing. On July 27, he gave up 4 10th-inning runs after pitching a scoreless 9th in Texas. Two infield singles and a hit batsman were followed by an A-Rod grand slam to break the tie.

Foulke had so few save opportunities in 2002, in part, because the Sox had few save situations early in the season. Still, from getting the opening-day save with a bases-loaded flyout in Seattle, he never inspired confidence as a closer. Considering that Koch couldn't close out the ALDS for the A's, fans in Oakland probably feel that way about him.

In some ways, Foulke had a statistically good season in relief, despite the fact that scouts were saying that hitters were figuring him out. But looking at a game-by-game breakdown of the 2002 regular season, Koch looks like the better closer. I think he strikes more fear in opposing hitters, and I think the trade will make the Sox a better team.

What a horrid post. Off the bat you show that Foulke has better stats in the scenario you come up with and then just say because you were watching the games Foulke blew and that made you uncomfortable you're unhappy with him closing. Great logic.

RichH55
12-08-2002, 03:30 AM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
What a horrid post. Off the bat you show that Foulke has better stats in the scenario you come up with and then just say because you were watching the games Foulke blew and that made you uncomfortable you're unhappy with him closing. Great logic.

Lets not go overboard Kermit......He showed his logic and essentially said the numbers were close, but that a change of scenery was probably better for both guys/clubs....whats wrong with that? Seemed like a valid argument to me, even if you dont agree with it...no reason to go nuts on the guy

kermittheefrog
12-08-2002, 04:33 AM
Originally posted by RichH55
Lets not go overboard Kermit......He showed his logic and essentially said the numbers were close, but that a change of scenery was probably better for both guys/clubs....whats wrong with that? Seemed like a valid argument to me, even if you dont agree with it...no reason to go nuts on the guy

He doesn't give any reason to think the team will be better at all except that he hasn't lost confidence in Koch yet. Given the nature of the statement I give him a month before that happens and I guess he'll want a new closer to feel good about the team. I really get irritated when people want to remember good players for a handful of bad moments. For example people who rant about Barry Bonds or even Frank Thomas not being clutch.

Reinsdorfsucks
12-08-2002, 07:23 AM
Amen!! I am so sick of people ripping guys like Bonds and Thomas. Just because Bond's doesnt like the media everybody is supposed to jump on board and rip him. Ted Williams never got along with the media and for years refused to sign autographs for fans. Does that mean you don't want him on your team? As for Frank, yes he does say some dumb things,and he'll never be a media favorite, but there is a league full of guys that would love to have 92 RBI's in a GOOD year. Frank did that in a bad year. Its not like these guys are out robbing convenience stores or beating their wifes (like sammy). I'm supposed to dislike Frank or Bonds because they tell Mariotti to go to hell? I consider that to be a sign of intelligence. Wait until Frank drives in 120 runs this year and Mariotti writes how he knew Frank was great etc etc etc :sellreinsy :sellreinsy

TornLabrum
12-08-2002, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by T Dog
I may be late with this observation, but I think the Sox will be better off with Koch closing.

Throw out Koch's worst three 2002 regular season outings, and his ERA is 2.06. Throw out Foulke's, and his is 1.55.

But Foulke's worst three outings were pretty bad. On April 3, he gave up 4 runs in .2 innings, blowing a 3-run lead in a 7-6 loss in Seattle. On May 29, he gave up 5 Yankee runs, in a hurry, after retiring the first four hitters he faced, blowing a 3-1 lead. On July 4 against Detroit, he came in leading 5-2 and gave up 3 runs without retiring a man. He didn't get the blown save because he was out of the game by the time the Tigers scored their 5th and 6th runs in their 6-5 win. (Wunch got both a hold and the loss. Osuna got the blown save.)

Koch had two bad outings against Toronto in May, giving up 5 runs in 1 inning on May 12 and 4 runs without retiring a man a week later. In both games, he came in with the A's already losing. On July 27, he gave up 4 10th-inning runs after pitching a scoreless 9th in Texas. Two infield singles and a hit batsman were followed by an A-Rod grand slam to break the tie.

Foulke had so few save opportunities in 2002, in part, because the Sox had few save situations early in the season. Still, from getting the opening-day save with a bases-loaded flyout in Seattle, he never inspired confidence as a closer. Considering that Koch couldn't close out the ALDS for the A's, fans in Oakland probably feel that way about him.

In some ways, Foulke had a statistically good season in relief, despite the fact that scouts were saying that hitters were figuring him out. But looking at a game-by-game breakdown of the 2002 regular season, Koch looks like the better closer. I think he strikes more fear in opposing hitters, and I think the trade will make the Sox a better team.

It seems to me that one of the key complaints against Foulke is that he always blows the big games. Didn't Koch do exactly the same thing on Sept. 17 against the Angels and then again in game 5 of the ALDS?

PaleHoseGeorge
12-08-2002, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
It seems to me that one of the key complaints against Foulke is that he always blows the big games. Didn't Koch do exactly the same thing on Sept. 17 against the Angels and then again in game 5 of the ALDS?

Now really, Torn, as a science teacher you certainly know that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Isn't this precisely the sentiment we're dealing with here?

TornLabrum
12-08-2002, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Now really, Torn, as a science teacher you certainly know that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Isn't this precisely the sentiment we're dealing with here?

As you know, PHG, I've quoted in my next "Fallen Arches" column from an article by an Oakland writer who certainly thinks that the A's got the better of this deal just by getting rid of "one trick pony" Koch. So that is precisely the sentiment on both sides of the fence.

As for myself, I can see both the Koch trade and the Thomas signing as blowing up in our faces simply because it's the White Sox doing both.

T Dog
12-08-2002, 12:43 PM
First of all, I believe relief ERAs are deceptive becasue relievers don't pitch many innings. When I looked at where Koch and Foulke did their best work in 2002, Koch looked like a strong closer. Foulke looked like a strong middle reliever. You may not respect my opinion, but my gut reaction to what I saw last season is not without statistical foundation.

Foulke pitched 15.2 innings in late-game save situations last year with an ERA of 6.89. Figuring in middle-relief save situations, where he was not brought in to close, he pitched 24.1 innings with an ERA of 4.38. With an overall ERA more than a run lower, he obviously pitched his best in tie games, games where the Sox trailed and games where the Sox led by more than 3 runs. In tie games, I found 7.2 innings with an ERA of 1.17. The run he allowed was an Expos home run that ruined the Saturday sleep-over game at Comiskey, and didn't do much for those of us that drove home.

Koch pitched 54.1 innings in save situations duing the regular season. None came in middle relief. In those games, he had an ERA of 1.66. He came into one save situation with the bases loaded and 1 out. Although he didn't give up a hit, he allowed the runner from third to score and picked up the win. In two saves, he gave up 2 runs. In 42 of his 50 save opportunities, he was not scored upon. He never gave up more than one run in a regular-season blown save. While the A's were winning five straight close games at one point, Koch picked up all five saves. (I don't remember if they were all 1-run games.) In tie games, He had an ERA of 5.73 over 11 innings. Two of those games were in August. He gave up single runs to the Angels in each. He didn't blow any saves against the Angels in August. And he was lights out against the Sox.

If you want to talk about big games, perhaps the biggest game for the Sox this year was the game Foulke blew to the Yankees. He didn't come through in the 2000 ALDS. Dealing with the traffic after the first game wouldn't have been nearly as irritating if Foulke hadn't surrendered two home runs. It is one thing to lose confidence in a closer who "makes things interesting." But Foulke essentially lost the closer job after giving up multiple runs (4, 5 and 3) in three save opportunities, leading to bad losses for a team that wasn't winning close games. He had been unscored upon in nine save opportunities up to that point, but a closer who blows up 25 percent of the time isn't doing his job. Hypothetically, he may have done better if he had gotten more save opportunities, but realistically, the pitchers who replaced him were doing better.

I like Foulke. If he were closing for the Sox in 2003, he would have my total support. But in my not-unfounded opinion, I think the Sox will be better off with Koch.

kermittheefrog
12-08-2002, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by T Dog
First of all, I believe relief ERAs are deceptive becasue relievers don't pitch many innings. When I looked at where Koch and Foulke did their best work in 2002, Koch looked like a strong closer. Foulke looked like a strong middle reliever. You may not respect my opinion, but my gut reaction to what I saw last season is not without statistical foundation.

Foulke pitched 15.2 innings in late-game save situations last year with an ERA of 6.89. Figuring in middle-relief save situations, where he was not brought in to close, he pitched 24.1 innings with an ERA of 4.38. With an overall ERA more than a run lower, he obviously pitched his best in tie games, games where the Sox trailed and games where the Sox led by more than 3 runs. In tie games, I found 7.2 innings with an ERA of 1.17. The run he allowed was an Expos home run that ruined the Saturday sleep-over game at Comiskey, and didn't do much for those of us that drove home.

Koch pitched 54.1 innings in save situations duing the regular season. None came in middle relief. In those games, he had an ERA of 1.66. He came into one save situation with the bases loaded and 1 out. Although he didn't give up a hit, he allowed the runner from third to score and picked up the win. In two saves, he gave up 2 runs. In 42 of his 50 save opportunities, he was not scored upon. He never gave up more than one run in a regular-season blown save. While the A's were winning five straight close games at one point, Koch picked up all five saves. (I don't remember if they were all 1-run games.) In tie games, He had an ERA of 5.73 over 11 innings. Two of those games were in August. He gave up single runs to the Angels in each. He didn't blow any saves against the Angels in August. And he was lights out against the Sox.

If you want to talk about big games, perhaps the biggest game for the Sox this year was the game Foulke blew to the Yankees. He didn't come through in the 2000 ALDS. Dealing with the traffic after the first game wouldn't have been nearly as irritating if Foulke hadn't surrendered two home runs. It is one thing to lose confidence in a closer who "makes things interesting." But Foulke essentially lost the closer job after giving up multiple runs (4, 5 and 3) in three save opportunities, leading to bad losses for a team that wasn't winning close games. He had been unscored upon in nine save opportunities up to that point, but a closer who blows up 25 percent of the time isn't doing his job. Hypothetically, he may have done better if he had gotten more save opportunities, but realistically, the pitchers who replaced him were doing better.

I like Foulke. If he were closing for the Sox in 2003, he would have my total support. But in my not-unfounded opinion, I think the Sox will be better off with Koch.

I love the people who don't seem to get that comparing Foulke and Koch based on saves or performance in save situations isn't fair because Manuel was a jackass and took Foulke out of the clsoe role. And I'd really appreciate it if one of these guys wanted to look at Foulke's 2001 or 2002 performance in save situations. YEESH

joecrede
12-08-2002, 02:49 PM
I'm a Foulke fan and this is going to sound cliche, but I think this was a good trade for both teams.

Take a look at Koch's game-by-game log last year and there are a couple of interesting things.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog?statsId=6218

1.) Take away three appearances vs. the Jays in May where he gave up 9 er in 1 ip and Koch's ERA drops from 3.27 to 2.26

2.) Foulke gave up 0 er in 80% of his 65 appearances, Koch gave up 0 er in 77.4% of his 84 appearances. (Given Foulke's scoreless streak I was surprised this was as close as it was.)

3.) During one stretch in late Aug/early Sept Koch made 7 appearances in 9 days. This kind of workload is ridiculous and probably was the biggest contributing factor to his late season troubles.

I'm not arguing that Koch at his best is as good as Foulke at his best, however there's no way this trade is as one sided in favor of the A's as the people at Baseball Prospectus would like everyone to believe. In fact I think if there is an edge in this deal it goes to the Sox. My reasons:

1.) Going into the season, Foulke was going to be a set-up man for Marte. Marte did nothing to lose the closer role to Foulke after he inherited it.

2.) Koch is our property through '05. Who is to say that Koch isn't just around for one year? If they feel Marte (or someone else) can close in '04 or '05, they can save money and a *proven* closer is always a nice tradable commodity to have.

T Dog
12-08-2002, 04:06 PM
Would you have used Bobby Thigpen's 1990 stats in support of making him your main closer in 1993? Closers often don't sustain a high level of success for long. Just ask Mel Rojas or any number stud closers who don Cubby blue.

Look at Koch's 2002 game log. He is coming off an outstanding season as a closer.

When I was attending Indiana University, I heard Bobby Knight say that at every baseball game there is someone who can hit like Ted Williams, throw like Roberto Clemente and run like Maury Wills. The problem is getting him out of the stands to put on a uniform. I get the feeling that some are saying something similar about the White Sox bullpen and the closer role last year.

Foulke didn't just blow three save opportunities. When he collapsed against the Yankees and couldn't get anyone out against the Tigers, he looked quite hittable. And the Sox actually had a better record after Manuel removed Foulke from the closer role.

One could even make the argument that Koch was at least as good a closer in 2002 as Foulke was in 2000 or 2001. I don't think it's worth the effort. If Koch has a better season in 2003, the point would be moot. He only had 36 saves in 2001, but I still like his chances.

kermittheefrog
12-08-2002, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by T Dog
One could even make the argument that Koch was at least as good a closer in 2002 as Foulke was in 2000 or 2001. I don't think it's worth the effort. If Koch has a better season in 2003, the point would be moot. He only had 36 saves in 2001, but I still like his chances.

You could make that argument but you'd be dead wrong. How does it not make sense that since Foulke was very effective last year in middle relief and Foulke was very effective in 2000 and 2001 as a closer then Foulke would have been just as effective in the closer role in 2002 if Manuel had given him the chance?